Cuba: Fidel Castro reappears

On Jan. 21 Argentine president Cristina Fern├índez de Castro met with former Cuban president Fidel Castro Ruz during a brief visit to Havana. In a column published the same day, Castro said his discussion with Fern├índez was “intense and interesting, as I expected.” Fern├índez told reporters afterwards that Castro seemed to be “very well.” This was apparently Castro’s first meeting with a visiting leader since Nov. 18, when he was photographed with Chinese president Hu Jintao; the article was his first statement in 20 days. There had been speculation that Castro was seriously ill.

In an opinion piece published on Jan. 22, Castro said he was “well” but had cut back on his columns in 2009 “in order not to interfere with or impede the compa├▒eros of the [Communist] party or the government in the constant decisions they must make in response to the objective difficulties arising from the world financial crisis.” Castro, who is 82, was formally replaced as president by his brother Raul Castro in February 2008. Fidel Castro remarked in his Jan. 22 column that he doesn’t expect to have the “privilege” of observing and meditating on political events in four years when US president Barack Obama’s first term ends. (La Jornada, Jan. 22, 24 from correspondent, Jan. 23 from Reuters, AFP)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Jan. 25

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